Stating that white stem borer has been causing yield loss in Arabica coffee plantations in Hassan, Chikkamagaluru and Kodagu districts, members of the Karnataka Growers’ Federation have demanded a relief package for protecting the coffee variety from extinction. The federation, an organisation comprising growers of coffee, tea and spices, has said that owing to the pest attack, the yield in Arabica fields had come down by almost 6,000 tonnes in recent years.
According to U.M. Thirthamallesh, general secretary of the federation, the annual yield of Arabica coffee before the pest attack was about 15,000 tonnes.
Now, it had come down to 9,000 tonnes. The growers, who invest lakhs of rupees on Arabica plantation, were reeling under loss as they were unable to get the yield to match their investment, he said.